FLUTTERING HEART. (Photo credit: Neal.)

It hangs behind that space between the breasts
where a woman might place her fingers and inhale,
maybe even close her eyes, when she feels
strong emotion. A touchstone of flesh, perhaps.
I touch that spot from time to time, when I feel
it flutter behind its shield of bone or when
it awakens me to the mortality-reminding sensation.

The medics pulled from their Latinate lists
the term ideopathic chest pain, even if it doesn’t hurt,
just like once they called it ideopathic pericarditis.
A hardening of the heart.
Unknown cause.
Outside and in.

You laid your hand on me there once, with emotion,
and I felt a different flutter, inside and out.
Now I realize why you might touch yourself that way.
I understand that contact with life while it lasts—
crazy, loving, strange, and yeah ideopathic life—
is mostly worth the pain and even not understanding
its why. This hard heart softened at that touch.

32 thoughts on “Ideopathic

  1. I’m married to a doctor. She says that they call something ideopathic when they have no clue what caused it!

    Beautiful poetry, lots of great images and strong and sensitive emotion.

  2. An amazing thing where inspiration can come from.We never know what life will visit on us from one moment to the next. I recently read that to touch someone, (hug, cuddle) kills depression, relieves anxiety and strengthens one’s immune system. Highly recommended for improving one’s health. Be well, my friend.

  3. I couldn’t help be reminded of the movie “The English Patient”….a mesmerizing spot of the body called the “supersternal notch” ….noted and romanticized even more by your poem…

  4. A very sensitive and honest poem. As men age, they become more sensitive emotionally. It took 20 years of marriage to see my husband cry at a theatre production (it was a scene between a father and young son). I’ve NEVER been more in love with him than THAT moment. 🙂 Hey, maybe I should write a poem about it (he might kill me) ha ha.

  5. The heart is a muscle, and for every moment of pumped up hardness, it follows with deflated softness. Love your line /I understand that contact with life while it lasts/ I get intermittent heart flutters, and it always grounds me to my mortality, reminding me to find some joy in the day & cherish it.

  6. Wonderful that you can write so tenderly about what must have been a traumatic time for you. I too have chronic heart insufficiency, and whatever I’ve written about it has mostly been angry. Like you, I am determined to fill as much of my time as possible with creativity.

  7. What beauty you’ve pulled from that scare…hard to imagine that thin membrane controls so much about the heart, yes? This was very nicely done and left me feeling grateful for my own health, and yours…

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